Frequently asked questions


I do persue another doctoral degree than a PhD. Can I join the program?

Yes, you can apply to become a member of the graduate program also if you persue an MD or any other doctoral degree than a PhD. For the admission, it is necessary to work in a project associated to the cluster's program. At which faculty you are registered is not of importance for the admission process.


Which faculty do I have to fill into the application form?

Please add the faculty to the form that is going to award you your persued degree.

For example you work at the Medical Center (Faculty of Medicine) and you are registered as a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Biology. Then please fill into the form the Faculty of Biology.


How to fill out the start of the thesis?

Please add the month and the year to the form that you started to work on your MD/PhD project. We ask you for this information to learn more about the average duration of a thesis from the start of the scientific work until the defence.


How to nominate the members of the thesis committee?

The first member of the committee is your official supervisor that is responsible for your thesis in front of your faculty of origin.

You can choose the other members upon their agreement. The only condition they have to fulfill is that they hold a doctoral degree.

They do not have to be a professor or group leader. You are free to choose members from another faculty or external scientists. As most of the doctoral candidates within the graduate program work on interdisciplinary projects, you can think about nominating a postdoc from a group you collaborate with.

In general, we welcome the nomination of young postdocs as second or third committee members so that they receive early training in supervising doctoral candidates.


How many members do I have to nominate for the thesis committee?

The committee needs to consists of at least two members. If you prefer, you can also nominate a third member.


When do I have to nominate the members of my thesis committee?

You must hand in the nominated thesis committee with your application form. You cannot be accepted within the graduate program without a nominated thesis committee.


Which consequences has the nomination of the thesis committee?

The thesis committee is responsible to provide you interdisciplinary supervision and personal support during your doctoral thesis. The thesis committee you nominate will not be identical with your examination committee for your defence. The examination committe will be nominated by your faculty of origin, not by BrainLinks-BrainTools.


One of my thesis committee members cannot supervise me anymore. What can I do?

In general, we ask you to nominate a committee that can accompaign you through your whole thesis so that all committee members can observe the progress of your scientific project and get to know you and your work.

If a nominated committe member cannot carry out these duties anymore (e.g. because of job change or parental leave), please contact the coordinator to find a solution. In this case, it is possible to add or change committee members.